Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Tue, 24 Jun 2008 14:05:41 PDT
Ixiolirion is one of those plants whose ubiquity (in catalogs at least) and
low price cause prospective growers to take less than seriously. Allium
caeruleum is another one. 


I have no idea how these behave in other climates, but under my conditions
many bulbs, and these two in particular, need to mature into drought. 


May is one of the busiest months in the garden, with something new and
beautiful coming along every day. For the bulb grower in my climate, it’s
also one of the most dangerous: rapidly rising soil temperatures combined
with wet conditions can quickly spell disaster for bulbs. With so many
distractions, it’s hard to think of bulbs you can’t even see, but it’s
extremely important to give them what they need. What they need is drought. 


This year May seems to have brought rain, thunder and lightning several
times a week. I got the covers on the arilate irises just in time.  Tulips
in the garden (in contrast to those grown under cover) were wet throughout
May and into June. I got most of the bulbs out of the ground just in time,
although there are some rotters among the tulips, alliums and colchicums.
All of the Fritillaria here are grown under cover, so their exposure to
moisture is better controlled.   


Under my conditions, Ixiolirion needs the same treatment given to the
western North American bulbs such as Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, Triteleia,
Calochortus and the like: no water during the last month above ground.  


Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/

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